A Fair Go For All
Nationally Recognised and Government Accredited Massage Schools Uncovered
Exploding the myths, understanding your rights, and discovering the best possible massage therapy training fit for you:
By Rebecca Rogan, Massage Masters Principal
Your right to know your industry:
Compared to just a decade ago, potential massage therapy students are presented with an overwhelming assortment of options for study. From weekend workshops to two year diplomas, the aspiring massage therapist will soon discover a great disparity between many of the schools regarding what you need to do, how long you need to study and which associations your need to join to succeed as an accredited and recognized massage therapist when you graduate.
You have the right to be well informed and discerning when it comes to this important life decision. Separating the facts from the myths can certainly get confusing if not bewildering, and some schools would like to keep it that way. However, if you are serious about making the right choice for your future massage education, and if you are serious about selecting the very best programme fit for you, your lifestyle and your budget, then it is important that you are aware of your options and rights and have a clear understanding of what it is each massage school has to offer.
I have put this article together because I am passionate about helping massage students to understand their rights. It is my hope that whatever education pathway you end up choosing for your future massage career, your decision will not be made not from false or misleading information, but from a full knowledge of the legal rights that our deregulated massage industry provides.
I want people be fully aware of their unfettered legal rights to choose whichever course of massage study is the best fit for them (in spite of the fear campaigns from many schools). In so doing, I want to see students benefit from the option to choose training that is both better quality (free from the constraints of an outdated blueprint), several thousands less in course fees and more time efficient. It is your right to know your industry and your right to exercise choice.
Deregulation Defined: Why Deregulation is so beneficial:
“ Deregulation” essentially means no controls and regulations from the government, and is defined by Wikipedia to mean “when a government reduces its role and allows industry greater freedom in how it operates “.
Deregulation of the Australian massage industry means that no single massage school or affiliation is required to practice as a professional massage therapist in Australia.
So when many prospective students first make contact with us at Massage Masters School over the years, they are often confused about the type of course and the length of study that is required to graduate as a fully qualified massage therapist with qualifications that are accepted and recognized nation-wide.
Perhaps the most common question we are asked can be summarized as: “how can your MMS 100 hour Certificate and 100 hour Diploma training programmes provide all that is required to succeed as a qualified massage therapist, when the government accredited schools require a minimum of a one and two year full time study programme, and charge an average of $5000 to $10,000 for the same qualifications?”
ITEC , BTEC and Government Accreditation in the Massage Therapy Industry Defined
How long is long enough?
In Australia, NZ and the UK, the average length of time required to complete a massage course from a government accredited school is between 1 and 2 years full time and 6 months at an absolute fast track minimum for a Certificate only. Specifically, for a “Certificate IV” in Australia or, “Diploma Level 3” in UK, it takes one year full time, or 6 months fast track, and up to 2 years to obtain most “Diploma’s”.
Across different states in the USA , course lengths vary from 50 hours through to 1000 hours. In Canada’s heavily regulated industry, obtaining a massage qualification requires a mandatory 3000 hours in British Columbia or a minimum of two years full time training. Yet in parts of California, a 50 hour course legally qualifies as government accredited.
50 hours or 3000 hours? – the “experts” can’t seem to agree:
The unfortunate irony for these government accredited schools “spruiking” regulated programs is that between themselves they seldom agree, and they certainly fail to agree as an international body as to how many hours is the magic number to reach proficiency. Thus we find different regulated massage training programmes world-wide, each spreading their version as the definitive standard for massage therapy.
They use terminology such as “recognized”, “government approved” and/or “endorsed by the government” to insinuate that the training is somehow superior or the definitive training required to succeed. However, as the facts reveal, between countries, even between states, there are huge discrepancies in standards. And we find accredited programs ranging from 50 hours through to 3000 hours. The requirements for accreditation are variable, completely arbitrary and irrelevant in a deregulated industry such as Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom , South Africa and Singapore.
Deregulation means you have rights to make the decision about which massage therapy program is the best fit for you:
The great news for the prospective massage student is that due to deregulation, you have the right to make the decision about what is the best study format for you (intensive study, part time or full time) and which massage therapy programme is the best fit for you, instead of having an certain group of schools (in collaboration with the government) decide. But many potential students are unaware of this fact and contact us confused about their options. And from what we have been told over the years, it is generally the massage schools offering regulated programmes (or government accredited training ) who are increasingly responsible for promoting the confusion in the community surrounding this issue.
When you scratch just beneath the surface of the propaganda, surrounding regulated training, you will discover that there is significant financial gain for these groups of schools who are pushing the path of regulated massage training, and trying to “oligopolize” our massage industry, in spite of the deregulation law. They do this by trying to form an “oligopoly” (a situation where the market is controlled by a small group of firms) that tries to standardize and regulate the study of massage, into between the one to two year training programme. And like most oligopolies, these schools, if left unchecked, will end up similarly controlling the massage training in your country and push the fees higher, by promoting a programme that is unnecessarily long and expensive.
Did you Know: (Fun (or not so Fun?) Fact) According to Wikipedia, an example of an Australian oligopoly can be seen in media: most media outlets are owned either by News Corporation, Time Warner, or by Fairfax Media. Utilities in the UK are dominated by the following oligopoly of firms: EDF Energy, Centrica, RWE npower, E.on, Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy, which share 99% of the retail electricity market.
So if our massage industry is deregulated, then what does “government accreditation” and “ recognized training” mean?
The term “government accreditation” (or Certificate IV in Australia, ITEC /BTEC accreditation in UK, or NZQA in New Zealand), refers to a programme that is regulated by what it is allowed to teach, to meet the certain guidelines.
A “government accredited” massage programme is originally laid out by the heads of certain massage schools and/or other massage therapists. The programme is next taken to the government (via the successful lobbying of the politicians by the schools and massage therapists that support regulation) to “endorse” or agree to allow the programme to be used as a set guidelines for other schools to follow. And thus in a regulated massage industry this programme (however long depends on the decision of the originator of particular programme) will become a legalized into requirement for all schools to offer and all massage students thus must study.
But in our deregulated massage industry, these programmes are simply labeled with the terminology “government accredited” or “recognized training” because it is illegal to make it the only option. However any massage school who so chooses to, can offer this “template” government accredited “ recognized” course that can be purchased for a fee. In a deregulated industry, this terminology being advertised to promote these template massage training programmes, is often very misleading and we are continuously told by many potential students the terminology of “government accreditation” and “recognized training” leads them to believe that only that type of regulated programme is the best or the only training required to obtain one’s qualifications and be “recognised” or accepted as a qualified massage therapist upon graduation.
Does “nationally recognized” or “government accredited “ massage training provide advantages?
The term “nationally recoginzed training” that is used by many government accredited schools to describe their programme, should in no way be confused with any legal requirement for your training qualifications. And as we have established because we have a deregulated massage industry (that allows you the full freedom to choose what ever pathway of study is the best fit for you), the practical relevance to the success of your massage career of this “nationally recognized”/ “government accredited “training is next to negligible. Moreover the term “government accredited” itself , although sounding very official, provide no advantages what-so-ever to the success of the massage therapist upon graduation.
So what benefit does a government accredited course offer?
- There is generally no difference in the quality of the training provided between most government accredited massage schools and non government a schools. In many cases government accredited training can be inferior as it is limited to a template programme that is purchased by anyone who wants to go into the massage business. ( you must compare curriculums to confirm this)
- There is no difference in quality of the massage performed by graduate from non government schools compared to government accredited schools ( you only have to get a massage by graduates of both types of course to tell for yourself).
- Government accreditation or nationally recognized training has no effect what so ever on a graduates legal right to work as a massage therapist or the massage therapists public reputation (the public generally have no idea what government accredited training is anyway).
- Government accreditation does not give one graduate more rights over another to legally set up a business, get fully insured or join an association of massage therapists. Not all programmes will allow you to get insured or join all massage associations upon graduation, ( whether government accredited or not) . These benefits are important to your success in massage therapy, so make sure you ask the course advisor about this before choosing the right programme for you
- The general public (your future clients) are generally not concerned and unaware of “government accreditation”. Government accredited massage training is a concept that is being promoted by certain schools who want to promote a regulated standardized programme for massage therapy..
Deregulation guarantees a fair go for all massage students. It allows you the freedom to choose the massage training program that offers you the best fit possible:
The general response we give to the many potential students who have called us over the years after becoming confused by the propaganda is to confirm for them that no matter what massage programme they choose to study, they will have the same identical legal rights to practice as any massage graduate from any government accredited one or two year full time programme. That is, no matter what massage training programme a massage student graduates from, every graduate will have the same full and unfettered legal rights to practice as professional massage therapists with qualifications that are recognized nation-wide. In short, thanks to deregulation all massage students will get a fair go.
We next explain that if they choose to select a Massage Masters 100 hour Certificate or 100 hour Diploma programme for their massage education they will graduate with not only the same qualification in massage therapy and identical legal right to practice nation-wide as any graduate from a government accredited training school, but they will also have exactly the same benefits of the option to purchase full medical mal-practice insurance and as well as the opportunity to join a professional Massage Association as well.
We finally explain why the quality of the training at a 100 hour MMS course exceeds that of the training in much longer government accredited programmes (you only need to get massaged from the graduates of the different programmes to further confirm this): This is because, in short, at Massage Masters our programmes are not locked in to a rigid and lengthy “blue print” that regulated massage programmes require . At Massage Masters School we have full freedom and full legal rights to utilize our many years of knowledge and expertise of massage mastery to design the very best massage training programme available, in the most sensible time frame , and for the best value for money around. We distill the important information in each are of study offer a focused but comprehensive approach.
Uncovering the Regulated Curriculum:
If you take a careful look at the regulated “blueprint” curriculum of almost all schools offering government accredited training, you will see for yourself that they are too often filled with subjects that you may not wish to do or be made to re-learn; and also with subjects that do not have much or any relevance to delivering an excellent professional massage. Also, if you examine carefully with in these subjects you will find that an inordinate amount of content and hours is often allocated for each subject, that means you are often either going into far too much detail that ends up having little to no benefit to the quality of your massage and your professionalism as a practitioner. Or else, you are re-learning information that we presume you should have a basic knowledge of from your former education and/or life experience
When you study the facts, you will learn that these one to two year programmes from “accredited” schools with standardized massage programmes are ultimately unnecessarily long. Most importantly these programmes waste a lot of your precious time and money, and offer you no extra benefit to compensate for the tremendous difference in outlay of your time and money that they require.
Comparing the Courses: A “Govt. Accredited” School Curriculum directly cut and pasted from school website in red below:
Note: My additions and comments are in black italics.
Industry Recognised Training this is misleading terminology used by this school to make students think that this school’s programme is the essential programme
There are 2 massage courses recognised within the massage therapy industry. Both courses are offered by xxx This is an example of the NONSENSE being promoted by this govt. accredited school. Name of School is omitted.
HLT40307 CERTIFICATE IV IN MASSAGE THERAPY PRACTICE (Subjects 1-8) : akin to BTEC level 4 & NZQZ 4-5
Price: AUD $5,560 OR GBP £3,584, as at Sept 2012. But the average price of this course is generally starts at AUD $4500 and GBP £ 2,900 and NZD $5400.
Duration: 12 months
The CERTIFICATE course consists of 8 SUBJECTS
Subject 1 – Introductory Massage
Subject 2 – Clinical Aromatherapy
Subject 3 – Foundations of Massage 1
Subject 4 – Foundations of Massage 2
Subject 5 – Safe Practices
Subject 6 – Human Biology
Subject 7 – Healthcare Business 1
Subject 8 – Massage Practice 1
HLT50307 DIPLOMA OF REMEDIAL MASSAGE (Subjects 1-16 )/ includes Cert IV Course This Diploma is like a BTEC Level 5 in UK, or NZQA Level 5-6 in NZ
Price: AUD $11,120 or GBP £7,168 and includes the Certificate. But the general price for this course is at least AUD$ 7000 or GBP £4,000 and NZD $6,500.
Duration: 2 years
The DIPLOMA course includes the Certificate course plus an additional
8 SUBJECTS i.e. a total of 16 SUBJECTS.
Subject 8 – Massage Practice 1
Subject 9 – Deep Tissue Massage 1
Subject 10 – Deep Tissue Massage 2
Subject 11 – Musculoskeletal Anatomy 1
Subject 12 – Musculoskeletal Anatomy 2
Subject 13 – Sports Massage
Subject 14 – Remedial Massage
Subject 15 – Healthcare Business 2
Subject 16 – Massage Practice 2
The Massage Masters School Curriculum: directly cut and pasted from the MMS School Website below:
MMS Certificate of Holistic Massage
Course code: MMS12007
Duration: 100 hour Massage Mastery Course
Qualification: Certificate V in Massage Therapy
(like UK, BTEC Level 4 and NZ, NZQA Level 5)
Price: Australia $2350, England £$1495, Scotland and Ireland £1250, S. Africa R 20,999, New Zealand $2499, Singapore $2499
Certificate Course Curriculum:
- Swedish Massage & Soft Tissue Release: 30 hours
- Basic Deep Tissue and Sports Massage: 10 hours
- Basic Trigger Point & Neuro-Muscular Massage: 6 hours
- Introduction to Reflexology: 6 hours
- Clinical Aromatherapy: Inc. taking a Case History: 6 hours
- Head and Face Massage: 4 hours
- Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2: 20 hours
- Essential Health, Hygiene & Safety: Inc. Posture & Core Stability: 3 hours
- Student Clinic with the public: 5 hours
- Business Mastery Practices: Inc. Ethics, Jurisprudence: 10 hours
MMS Diploma of Remedial Massage
Course code: MMS12008
Duration: 100 hour Massage Mastery Course
Qualification: Diploma of Remedial Massage Therapy
(like UK, BTEC Level 5 or NZ, NZQA Level 6)
Price: (includes Holistic Massage Certificate and is a “package deal”)
Australia $3850, England £2450, Ireland & Scotland £2099, New Zealand $3999, S. Africa R 34,500, Singapore $3999
Diploma Course Curriculum:
- Deep Tissue Massage Master Techniques: 30 hours
- Sports and Remedial Massage: 10 hours
- Eastern Techniques: Inc: Acupressure, Thai and Shiatsu Massage: 12 hours
- Aromatherapy and Lymphatic Drainage Massage: 7 hours
- Anatomy & Physiology Level 3: 20 hours
- Seated Massage: 4 hours
- Student Clinic with public: 5 hours
- Business Mastery Practices (Inc. Ethics, Jurisprudence, Health & Safety): Part 2: 12 hours
You are the best person to decide on the right course for you:
Once the potential student is aware of their right to choose and objectively assess massage schools from a clear perspective, they can make a decision based on the quality of the training rather than on the illusion of obtaining a required certification. Quality training is definitely required but accreditation is not synonymous with quality training and skill development.
In support of regulation, some may argue that the quality standards of massage training may be compromised without a standardized blue print for massage training. Whilst we accept that this may be true in some instances, we believe that so long as you use common sense, ask sensible questions and examine the curriculums offered by each of the potential schools when selecting your training, in almost all cases bad quality will speak for itself. Furthermore, the basic principles of supply and demand will soon have it that any school offering a sub-standard programme will quickly be sent out of business by lack of demand. A homogenized training based on one regulated curriculum can be pushed with the excuse that it protects us from bad quality, however in many cases it prevents better quality alternatives from being offered
As informed potential massage students you will come to realize that there is no better person than you to make the final decision about what type of a massage programme out there offers the best quality the best length of time, the best type of training and the best price fit for you. You do not need to blindly study a “government accredited” standardized programme to have success, or be intimidated into believing that only standardized programmes offer quality recognized training. Once you’ve shortlisted your favourite programmes from the huge variety of choices out there, make the effort to get to know the details of exactly what you are being sold, the timeline and the price and look beyond the propaganda and the myths. Ask lots of questions and shop around. Take full advantage of your legal rights to choose the pathway of study that is your best overall fit.
What do these schools have to say for themselves?
To confirm for certain what we are telling you, we asked a leading Australian government accredited massage school that offers 2 year Massage Therapy Diploma to explain to us the ultimate benefits that a graduate in a deregulated massage industry will receive taking a one or two year government accredited program over school over a non accredited programme. The only reply they could construct was simply to repeat the tired myths we have discussed above. They stated that an accredited scheme could offer access to an association, access to insurance and avoid poor quality training. Massage Masters offer all of these same benefits without the need to adhere to a “cookie-cutter” curriculum and without spending years and of thousands of dollars more in the process.
The Many Benefits of Deregulation Summarized:
- Variety in course structure: Thanks to deregulation, there is a huge variation in the curriculums as well as the prices of Massage training education currently available to you in Australia, NZ and UK today. Timelines for Australian training courses vary from weekend courses to two year certificates. Prices range form as little as $600 for the most inexpensive weekend course though to over $12,000 for a two year diploma.
- Variety in curriculum: Free form the confines of a prescribed blueprint, in a deregulated environment there is a great variety in both the length and content of study curriculums.
- Increased competition. Naturally as the consumer you will be the first to directly benefit from the effect of the superior products and services that the competition allows.
- Avoids monopolization and price fixing. Deregulation benefits you, ultimately, with the best possible value for money because a few schools don’t have a stranglehold on the industry.
* FYI: We see a clear example of this monopoly developing in the Canadian massage industry. Where by the government accredited schools have managed to push their agenda ”all the way home” and have regulated the massage industry nationwide. Now the minimum amount of hours required to be a qualified massage therapist in Canada is 3000 hours with a minimum of two years full time training. Massage qualifications in Canada in 2012 generally start at $10,000 with an average massage student having outlaid closer to $15,000 by the end of their two year minimum full time programme.
This monopoly like exploitation of the massage industry that we see in the government accredited schools of Canada today, that currently lead the world in tremendously lengthy and costly regulations for massage therapy study is nothing surprising. It is the direct consequence of the successful overturning of the deregulated massage industry, that can come about from too much political pressure, from the government accredited schools, and not enough opposition.
The choice is yours:
Deregulation allows numerous independent massage schools and training organizations to remain in force world-wide, which continue to stand firm against the formation of massage monopolies attempts to take your freedom to choose how you want to be trained away. Thanks to deregulation numerous schools still continue to offer you leading professional massage training in a variety of styles, combinations and deliveries that best suits you and your individual time, budget and preference.
The freedom to choose how, when, where and why you want to learn your new career and skill, that is a product of deregulation, is the most valuable asset.
In our deregulated Massage industry, it’s all about you and your choices: You have the full legal rights to study with any Massage school you choose.
Our Massage Masters Guarantee: The Three Essentials to Massage Training Success
At MMS we stand by the fact that the following three essentials in a massage school will guarantee you protection and success when you graduate in your future career as a professional massage therapist:
1. A Professional Qualification Course with everything you need to know practice on the public as a professional Massage Therapist: that combines the practical with the theory of massage and teaches you the legalities of massage.
2. Ensure you can receive professional indemnity (medical mal practice) insurance upon graduation, to protect you and the people you treat.
3. Ensure you are eligible to join a Massage Therapy Association. Which among other things, will set a professional industry standard to guide you, as well as contact point and medium for the most recent information relevant to your massage industry.
Massage Masters continues to lead the way as the Nation’s Leading Massage Therapy Educator:
At MMS our mission is to help you achieve the maximum possible results from your massage study with the smallest investment of time, so you are always a winner. We deliver the finest tools, techniques, principles and strategies of massage available, within an education curriculum that is among the best standards worldwide, and will equip you with a life-time career as a professional and highly qualified massage therapist of the highest caliber
MMS understand that to become a professional Massage therapist who is legally and nationally recognized, you do not have to spend your valuable time and money finishing a 6 month thru to two year programme. Our MMS 100 hour Certification and Diploma Courses are expertly researched and designed in conjunction with the nation’s leading authorities on Massage Therapy Education, to teach you everything you need to graduate as a legally qualified, fully competent Massage Professional. Better yet, our MMS Professional Qualification Courses also allow you to obtain full cover professional indemnity insurance upon graduation, as well as the opportunity to join the INTA Massage Association if you wish. All of which is made available for you in our fully comprehensive 100 hour MMS Certificate and 100 hour Diploma Course programmes at an unbeatable price with a money back gurarantee*. No it’s not too good to be true! It is why MMS continues to lead the way as the nation’s leading Massage Therapy Educator.
NOW is the best time to follow your dreams and enrol in a programme at Massage Masters School, click here to Contact a Massage Masters friendly enrolment advisor to discuss *our terms and conditions, and how we can make your dreams happen for you!